Silverstone Half Marathon 2014 – Race Report

So today I only went and ran a whole 13.1 miles. Literally ran. Didn’t stop. Didn’t stop to pee. Didn’t stop to walk. Just ran. No matter how slow I got at one point I ran. I’m still a bit shocked about this.

I woke up this morning feeling so sick. So utterly terrified. Like total leg shakingly terrified. I came online and was spurred on by SO many people. Like probably over a hundred over my various places I posted. And gradually it calmed me down. It made me think maybe I can do this.

We had an easy drive up there and plenty of time to walk to the start. It was FREEEEEZZZZING which rather took me by surprise! I’d anticipated a nice dry calm day, why I did I do not know! We continued glugging water to hydrate and loaded up on flapjack for some good old slow release carbs.

I managed to bump into a few girls I know through Facebook which was awesome and lovely to see a friendly face. The boys and my mum arrived and we had a quick cuddle and good luck with photos before it was time for me and my brother to part, him into his red entrance me to the blue. As I walked down I got recognised from the photo I put on twitter and had an awesome chat with two lovely ladies which really encouraged me on. Once I was lined up I felt much calmer. We slowly but surely made our way to the start and crossed the line a good 5 minutes after the first people had gone over. I’d found the 2:29:29 pacer and wanted to stick with him as much as I could. It meant running 11:22 average miles which for me is quite fast but I decided I’d give it a good go. I stuck with him right through until mile 8 where there was an uphill which slowed me down and before I knew it he was too far ahead. I tried a few times to catch up but I wasn’t prepared to sprint and burn out too early. Eventually I gave up trying admitting to myself I’d be getting an over 2:30 time. 2:30 had been the goal I’d set myself for some dumb reason despite telling myself being my first I should just get around and not worry about time. It meant for a few moments of total disheartenment before I remembered why I was doing this again. I was running to raise funds for the lullaby trust. I was running for all the beautiful angel babies who’ve been taken too soon like Matilda Mae. I was running for their amazing families who have to go through so much heartache that many of us can’t begin to imagine. And so I ran. I just kept on running.

Through to mile 8 had felt comfortable. 9 onwards was tough. My legs were tired and I started just repeating a mantra of ‘Run with your heart’ over and over in my head. It was all I had left to give was the emotions I could put into it. At mile 12 I realised I could maybe get inside 2:35 and so managed to push on a little bit harder. I kept pushing and as I approached the finish with everyone cheering I looked at my watch and saw if I sprinted I’d get within the 2:35. So I gave it my all. Everything I could give. I dont think I’ve ever run so hard. I’d had a text and knew my family were just past the finish line. I’d been almost crying as I ran the final mile as I was playing special songs that reminded me of Matilda Mae and I knew would spur me on but running and crying is hard, you can’t breathe, so I managed to refocus. Until I crossed that line and saw my family. I walked into mums arms and sobbed, total body wrenching sobs. Then into dads arms and did the same. The kids looked rather shocked to see mummy crying so much. It wasn’t anything to do with the race. It was knowing that there are too many babies who aren’t with their families because of SIDS. It was remembering the reading Heather and Susanne gave at #MMRemembers. Remembering a specific passage that had really hit me deep and totally described how I felt last year and often still feel.

When a friend loses a baby you feel helpless and scared,
Her baby’s been taken and yours was spared.
And then the guilt hits – you know what you’ve got,
You have your baby and your friend does not.

I was starting to get cold so headed off to get my tag taken off my shoe and to get my bag and medal. I was in somewhat a daze and still had tears streaming down my face. I headed out to find my family and got somewhat lost trying to find them before I eventually spotted my mum, again I sobbed on her shoulder but this time I could get out why I was crying. After hugging the kids and my Uncle and crying on his shoulder too I headed to grab my bag. I’d got freezing by that point and could barely get my trousers on and straightening my toes sent cramps through my legs. It was a slow walk back to the car and then a long half an hour trying to get out the car park. I was shaking and wrapped myself in one of the boys blankets I’d taken with me. It took a good hour to warm up.

I’m glad I did it. I raised £110 in the lead up to today (which is why I wore the tutu) and today some lovely people sponsored me still and I made it to £150! If you want to sponsor me you still can here:

That tutu definitely had magical powers. Those first 8 miles felt so good! As a race it was well organised. Everything ran smoothly and started on time. There were enough water and lucozade stops which was awesome although I only managed about 1/4 to 1/2 each time as I didn’t want that horrible sloshing feeling and I was using my energy gels so knew I didn’t need too much.

Would I run Silverstone again? I’m not sure. As a race it is BORING as hell. You don’t see spectators for a large part of it as they are only allowed in certain areas. But the majority is ran without them there. It does give you such a boost to have them there so I treasured the times when there was those cheers and encouragement. The marshalls were all enthusiastic which was excellent but as you can see from the map its a bit all over the place. I think I’d prefer a more straightforward run!

Now onto planning training for Edinburgh in 12 weeks…..


5 thoughts on “Silverstone Half Marathon 2014 – Race Report

  1. Well done! I did the Sleaford half last week and out was tough! Also I was in Edinburgh this weekend it is very hilly so make sure you work that into your training. x

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